Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That

October 15, 2008

On her Myspace page, New York City based singer/songwriter Marnie Stern describes her work as “progressive,” while others have labeled it “math rock,” but most people agree she’s something of a guitar wizard, with a rapid fire, staccato playing style that characterizes her songs as well. My best description goes something like this: Frantically paced pop music with high pitched girlish-singing/shrieking, brainy, borderline nerdy lyrics and someone shredding guitar in true heavy metal fashion in the background. What keeps that unlikely mix from being shrill or flat out unlistenable is Stern’s seemingly infallible ear for melody and an infectious hook. And when she starts to play her guitar, I can picture Beavis and Butthead going, “Yes! Yes!” Though I’ve heard elements of Stern’s music before, I don’t think I’ve ever quite heard all those elements compiled quite like this. In a time that finds so many artists looking backwards for inspiration, Stern seems like an artist determinedly pressing forward. Standout cuts: “Transformer,” “Shea Stadium,” “Ruler” and “Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.”

P.S. The outrageously long title was apparently inspired by an Alan Watts essay.


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